Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ACKS Mass Combat

Sometimes I'm a little backwards (my wife is probably saying "Sometimes??"). Case in point, I love to read game reviews after I get the game in question. I do this because it gives me pointers to what reviewers think are important and/or noteworthy aspects of the game in question.

An excellent example of this is the lack of mass combat rules in ACKS. Many of the reviews I've seen cite this as either the chief flaw, or only flaw, of the system.

This is a rather glaring omission, really, considering the much-touted endgame of the system. My research has shown me that the first planned supplement is all about mass combat and is carefully crafted to fully integrate with the economic set-up established in the core rules. That really does sound awesome. I've also seen something about including a basic mass combat engine in future pdf downloads, as well as an SRD of the forthcoming mass combat supplement. Both of those sound good, except that I haven't been able to find said SRD, and my pdf does not include a basic mass combat engine.

I have a question, though. One of the often ballyhooed strengths of the OSR is that elements from pretty much any title are cross-compatible.  Since one of the strongest influences in ACKS is Mentzer BEC (hold the MI, please), why not kitbash the mass combat rules from there? At least as a stop-gap? I know those particular rules may be difficult to come by, but there is always Dark Dungeons. The mass combat system in DD was very well-received in reviews.

Now, let me be clear: I'm not asking this in some sort of rhetorical, "look how clever I am" fashion. This is a serious question for those of you with enough knowledge/experience with both systems to answer. Is a cludge possible? I haven't gotten very far into ACKS at all, yet. I have skimmed the section on Hirelings, and I didn't see anything that should cause obvious conflict with the mass combat rules from DD. In fact, once I considered this possibility, the lack of any sort of mass combat in ACKS almost became a feature. At least there isn't enough of one to make porting DD's too messy to consider.

Basically, here's how I see it, based on my very limited reading. DD rates troops based on three things: Troop Rating, Quality, and Size. Modify the Hireling costs from ACKS as necessary for superior/inferior troop units, and use DD from there. That seems to be the only point of intersection between the rules, at least that I've seen.

So, how about it? I know some of you are familiar enough to have an opinion on this. What do you think of splicing the DD system into ACKS?


  1. The ACKS team is doing a separate mass combat book, with the main core rules being (I think) free, although I might be wrong about that.

    In any case, their mass war rules are there for anyone who joined the Kickstarter and is in progress.

  2. Unfortunately, I came to the party too late for the Kickstarter. If, that is, you're referring to the one for ACKS proper. In truth, I don't have a group, so there is no chance I even need to worry about a need for mass combat rules, let alone needing to worry about them before anything official is released. I was positing this question purely from an academic standpoint. Thanks for the info, though.